2 1/2 Stars
Skyscraper is a mostly pleasurable exercise in the suspension of disbelief. Early on the picture acknowledges its outlandish plot points and then plays them to the hilt. It’s a modern action film with all of its parts duct-taped together from esteemed forebears such as The Towering Inferno, Die Hard, and The Fugitive. Yet, without a memorable villain, interesting dialogue, or a relatable everyman hero, the whole thing feels lightweight. Dwayne Johnson is today’s premiere movie star, but his larger than life screen presence actually works against the picture. The film already verges on becoming a cartoon without the cartoonish physical presence of its hulking and charismatic star.
Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), former FBI agent and war veteran of the US Army, is now a security expert assessing the safety of the world’s tallest skyscraper. When a cell of criminals bent on revenge sets fire to the structure, Will must infiltrate the burning skyscraper, find those who have set the trap, and rescue his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids who are trapped 225 stories above ground.
I kept waiting for Skyscraper to either fall apart or go into full-blown B-movie glory instead, it turns out to be a fairly solid summer movie excursion. Albeit, an experience that left me with an odd sense of slight indifference. However, credit must be given for a simplified script that is cleanly written and a lean running time that keeps the action coming. Who knows, Skyscraper may find its biggest audiences during afternoon screenings on TNT three years from now. This is undoubtedly the better movie of the two film Johnson has headlined this year, but it lacks anything to make it not only momentarily pleasurable but memorable.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Byron Mann